Over the course of two years I created 4 World of Warcraft movies showcasing exploration, pvp & story. The last one even includes custom levels I would create by modding the game:
By creating these films I learned how to create storyboards, how to capture, cut & export movies but also much about how a game is built. In the end this peaked my interest so deeply that I decided to learn 3D and create my own games.
You can watch all the movies on vimeo:
Slyce - The Movie 1
My first movie ever! Highlights include:
- 00:29 rare 2 vs 1 action inside orgrimmar
- 08:45 Zul'Gurub exploration (while the rest raided)
- 14:45 epic world pvp action (using the mind control cap)
Slyce - The Movie 2
Make sure to check the following things out:
- 12:30 Sweet revenge on a druid for killing my alt
- 15:45 Blackwing Lair exploration & lags
- 20:35 entering Ironforge on a flying mount (bug)
Slyce - The Movie 3
This video is a little bit special, in that is shows more story scenes than usual and also some unique moments I shared with my guild. Definitely check out:
- 13:30 nice blend of music, exploration & pvp
- 24:18 tricking a hunter inside IF by typing /afk
- 27:09 trying to teach my guild wall-jumping
Slyce - The Movie 4
In this video you will see many custom areas I created on a private server:
- 00:36 underwater city
- 04:55 creating a shortcut to the Stratholme boss
- 08:51 swamp castle & pirate hideout
15 years later
When looking back at all this over a decade later I am very glad that I was able to channel my passion for the game into something worthwhile and productive. Many friends from that time were addicted to playing the game and I was no exception, investing almost 400 days of ingame played time over the years.
What remains are some funny but also quite embarrassing films of an ambitious teenager that had fun filming and modding his favourite game.
These are the required ingredients to create an original Slyce - The Movie (c) 2006:
- using the best font of all time: Unreal Tournament font
- using this font for headlines, sub-headlines, paragraphs and basically everything else
- adding cringy real-life footage
- telling heartbreaking, captivating stories of love, death & friendship
- at least once every two minutes the main character must be seen floating above or beneath the world using slow fall potions and/or showing beautiful vistas in the background
- player versus player action where one or more of the following conditions apply: (a) lucky critical hits (b) enemy is undergeared (c) enemy is AFK
To understand what exploration means, you have to think about how world of warcraft was made: there were many unreachable, unfinished areas in the game that would later be added via patch or addon. But these areas were not truly impossible to access at all: there were various methods and tricks one could use to reach them.
Some of these methods required wall-jumping, while others required you to literally become a sheep to trick pathfinding and slip through walls. It's fascinating!
Because all of the dungeons in the game are 'instanced', you were teleported to a new area when entering their portals. What you could do is use tricks to get behind these portals without triggering them, and so you were able to reach the 'placeholder' areas that were only meant to be looked at. Of course you can do the opposite and go inside a dungeon, and leave it without using the portal.
As you can guess the other members in your raid will really appreciate your goofing around. You are contributing to the raid in your own way, but hey - at least they can become part of a nice movie!
Behind the scenes
Here are some of the notes, sketches & storyboards for the movies:
changing game models
There were programs where you could view all the models that are in the game, and so find out their exact name and location. This could then be used to swap out an already existing model with a new one. Using a map editor you could then even alter its position, rotation, scale and so on. This was known as model changing.
Changing the actual game model entry itself was not so much fun, as you probably can imagine:
With this system you could do some really crazy and game-breaking things: for example you could swap the model of a firepit with the model of huge stairs. Because you can place a firepit wherever you want, you now have the ability to place huge stairs wherever you want! Imagine using this to jump over otherwise unscalable obstacles or to get out of enemy reach etc.
becoming a puppeteer
Later something even bigger happened: people managed to get private servers running and so you were now able to use GM commands, which offered a whole new array of possibilities:
Furthermore a wow map editor existed, that you could use to shape your own terrain and paint custom textures:
All these things combined enabled content creators to become their own movie directors and visualize stories that would otherwise have been impossible to stage:
Unfortunately housing never made it into the game, but with all these tools it was possible to do something similar: I created my own hideout, that is placed behind the massive pirate gates in the northwest of stranglethorn. Normally there is just empty space behind these doors, so I had to carve out a giant cave and used model changing to place waterfalls, palms, a fireplace etc. It even has a prisoner cell and a house that is technically a modified bridge:
It was a very cozy place and it's a shame that I could only ever use it offline, because the chances of getting banned were far too high.